Home #16 William and Mary topples Norfolk State, 29-14

#16 William and Mary topples Norfolk State, 29-14


wm-logoThe No. 16 William and Mary football team earned its second consecutive victory with a 29-14 win against Norfolk State in its home opener on a rainy Saturday evening.

Although W&M (2-1) was outgained, 322-234, it recorded touchdowns on both defense and special teams. Junior safety Jared Velasquez provided a score with a 39-yard interception return, while senior safety Ivan Tagoe returned a field goal blocked by junior cornerback DeAndre Houston-Carson 66 yards for a touchdown. Senior linebacker Airek Green also put points on the board with a safety.

Junior linebacker Luke Rhodes led the Tribe defensively with 11 tackles and a sack, while Houston-Carson and Velasquez both posted recorded interceptions. Houston-Carson also recorded an interception, recovered a fumble on a muffed punt and totaled two PBU’s to go with his blocked field goal.

Senior wide receiver Tre McBride highlighted W&M’s effort offensively and totaled six catches for 101 yards, which included a 55-yard touchdown catch from sophomore quarterback Steve Cluley. Most of McBride’s stats came in the opening half, as he totaled five catches for 98 yards, including the score, in the initial 30 minutes of action.

Although NSU (0-3) got on the scoreboard first with a 7-yard touchdown run by Aaron Daniels midway through the first quarter, the Tribe quickly answered with a five-play, 75-yard drive that was punctuated by McBride’s 55-yard touchdown grab.

Moments later Tagoe broke up a pass intended for NSU wideout Markice Street, and Velasquez came up with the interception that he returned for the score. It marked Velasquez’s second career pick-six, while it was the Tribe’s sixth defensive touchdown in its last 13 games dating back to last season.

W&M increased its lead to 17-7 with a 31-yard field goal by senior placekicker John Carpenter early in the second quarter. The score was set up by a short pass from Cluley to sophomore running backKendell Anderson that went for 37 yards.

After Green’s safety with 2:21 remaining in the first half, which came when he stopped Daniels for a three-yard loss in the end zone, Carpenter capped off the ensuing drive with a 36-yard field goal.

The Tribe’s lone score of the second half came on Tagoe’s blocked field goal return midway through the third quarter, which extended the margin to 29-7.

NSU was unable to capitalize, however, as it’s only score in the second half came on a 1-yard touchdown run by Terry Polk with 8:44 remaining in the contest. The drive began at W&M’s 29-yard line after linebacker Lynden Trail blocked a W&M punt.

Daniels led NSU with 106 rushing yards on 21 carries, while wideout Isaac White totaled eight catches for 89 yards.

With the victory, W&M improves to 5-0 all-time versus the Spartans at to 10-0 all-time versus the MEAC. Additionally, Tribe head coach Jimmye Laycock is now 25-10 all-time in home openers, while W&M has won 25 of its last 26 games against non-conference FCS opponents during the regular season.

The Tribe will wrap up its non-conference slate when it hosts Lafayette as part of Family Weekend next Saturday at 7 p.m.



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